Russia is open for dialogue on trade and economic cooperation with other countries, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at the first working session of APEC leaders.
“I’d like to say that Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia are creating the Eurasian Customs Union precisely on the principles of openness, transparency and full compliance with the regulations of the World Trade Organization,” he said. “A considerable share of union’s trade falls on the Asia/Pacific region.”
Putin added that trade with the regional countries exceeded 26% of Russia’s entire foreign trade in 2013.
“We’re holding talks on a free trade area with Vietnam and we’re open for dialogue with other partners, including the ones who’re creating integrational associations,” Putin said.
He recalled that Russia proposed to include a model chapter on transparency in the future agreements on free trade back in 2012 when it held a term of APEC’s rotating chairmanship.
“Our partners in this region heeded the initiative and now it’s important to assure the broadest possible use of the model chapter in practice,” Putin said.
Numerous trade agreements existing in the Asia/Pacific create the risk of a split of the region into competing associations, President Vladimir Putin said here on Tuesday.
“The Asia/Pacific region has a big number of trade agreements differing in terms of their liberalization and the number of participant and this naturally creates the risk of a general split into separate contending associations,” he said at the first session of leaders of APEC economies.
To avoid the possible splits, Putin called for actions based on the principles of transparency and openness, with due accounting of mutual interests and capabilities.
He also said that “any new agreements should not damage the multilateral trade system existing in the WTO.